With one in seven people now working from home, creating your own office space is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. What’s more, turning one of your spare rooms into a work area could increase your home’s value. Whether you’re looking at becoming a remote worker, or you simply want to add a little bit more value to your property, here are our top tips for creating a home office.
Before you transfer your entire work desk into your spare room, it’s a good idea to have a look over what your homeowners insurance actually covers. Standard home insurance usually doesn’t protect any specialist equipment that you wouldn’t usually keep in your property. If you want to invest in an expensive photocopier or some high-tech gadgets, you may need to add on some extra cover just to be safe.
Choose a room
Since you might be spending a good few hours of the day in your home office, you need to make sure you find the right place for it in your property. A spare room is normally an ideal choice as long as it’s quiet, bright and can fit both you and your equipment. It also helps to make sure your working space is in a separate area to where you usually relax: once you leave your office, you need to feel like you’re at home and away from the pressures of work.
Check it’s practical
Once you’ve decided where your home office is going to be, check that it has a few features that will make your work that little bit easier. Ensure you’ve got a power source or two to hand and that your desk is in range of your property’s WiFi. Equally, this is the point where you need to become your own office manager. Your workspace needs to receive enough natural light, and if not, you might want to invest in some bright lamps to prevent you from straining your eyes. This also means picking out some comfortable office furniture, particularly a chair that provides you with ample back support.
If you’re creating an office space for yourself, it’s important to make it as pleasant as possible. Pick out a cosy rug and some warm curtains to brighten up the room. You could also put together some spacious storage and shelving units for keeping all of your paperwork in order. If you’re adding an office before you put your home on the market, remember that decoration is equally important to prospective buyers. They want to see themselves living – and working – in your property, so stage your new office as a homely and comfortable space with artwork on the walls or even an armchair or two.
Review your tax
If you work from a home office, you can get tax relief on some of your bills and equipment that you use for your job. These can only be things directly related to your occupation, like electricity for your work area, and you may need to provide a record for your claims.